Monthly Archives: December 2011

Whatever Wednesday: Just One Year

This time last year I was married.

I was 281 pounds.

Deep down, I was miserable.

I knew my life had to change.

We got a Wii.

I started exercising.

I started hiking.

I’ve lost over 60 pounds.

In May, I left my marriage.

By August, our divorce was final.

 

I’ve traveled quite a bit since May, all in the US and all in the Eastern coast/South.

I’ve met some awesome people from Twitter & the blogosphere in person. I’ve reconnected with old friends. I’ve made new friends.

I’ve seen places I never thought I’d see in person. I’ve done things I never imagined myself doing.

 

I visited the Lorton Workhouse just outside of D.C., where Alice Paul and other suffragists were sentenced to serve time after protesting outside the White House.

I spent some time in the Quantico National Cemetery. God Bless our military, especially the fallen Marines and their mourning families. Thank you for your sacrifice.

I hung out in Norfolk, VA at the beach after Hurricane Irene stumbled through and destroyed a few things.

I’ve driven through tornado damage and wept.

I live tweeted the Republican Debate from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.

I hiked (a lot) in Nashville, TN. Even got lost and had to be rescued by my brother.

I hiked in Virginia too. Not as much as in Nashville, but I went and did it by myself and was okay with not finishing. Know your limits, people.

Speaking of going by yourself, I attended the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree in Roanoke, VA by myself. Went to the Taubman Art Museum that night too.

I survived 15 minutes of Go-Karting at Virginia International Raceway without wrecking or going off track.

I ate pizza in New Jersey for the first time in over 20 years. I cried.

I sat in the Village Vanguard in NYC, drank wine, and listened to amazing jazz with a hilarious new friend last week. In a dress smaller than any dress I’ve worn since the mid 90’s.

I visited Ground Zero and was filled with awe and peace as I walked around the memorial pools, staring at the names of all the Americans lost on 9/11/2001.

I ate lunch at Veselka’s (you know, where Norah eats in the middle of the night in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist).

I realized the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Plaza is MUCH smaller in real life. And how crowded it is there in December. (Related – I will NEVER complain about crowds again.)

I’ve discovered I love traveling by train and absolutely must do this more often.

 

But more importantly, I found something these past few months.

I found confidence. I found my passion for life hadn’t completely disappeared, it just went on vacation.

I smiled until it hurt. I smiled because I was smiling until it hurt.

I laughed. I cried. Sometimes I laughed until I cried. Sometimes I just cried. A lot.

More than anything though?

I dove into the depths of the waters well beyond my comfort zone without hesitation.

I’m still here.

I can do anything.

I believe in ME.

If 2011 taught me all of this, I cannot WAIT to see what 2012 has in store for me.

12 Days of Christmas Parody: The 12 Days of Christmas by @CrayonWrangler

Alycia’s Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer was such a fabulous hit, she’s back with an encore. This time, she tackles The 12 Days of Christmas. Hold your applause until the end, please.

On the first day of Christmas,
my Postpartum gave to me
A need to weep and flee.

On the second day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the third day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Three box of kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Four friends a-calling,
Three box of Kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Five sleepless nights,
Four friends a-calling,
Three box of Kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Six people judging,
Five sleepless nights,
Four friends a-calling,
Three box of Kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Seven new pills to take,
Six people judging,
Five sleepless nights,
Four friends a-calling,
Three box of Kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Eight moods a-minute,
Seven new pills to take,
Six people judging,
Five sleepless nights,
Four friends a-calling,
Three box of Kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Nine pounds lost and found,
Eight moods a-minute,
Seven new pills to take,
Six people judging,
Five sleepless nights,
Four friends a-calling,
Three box of Kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Ten irrational thoughts,
Nine pounds lost and found,
Eight moods a-minute,
Seven new pills to take,
Six people judging,
Five sleepless nights,
Four friends a-calling,
Three box of Kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Eleven new PPD articles,
Ten irrational thoughts,
Nine pounds lost and found,
Eight moods a-minute,
Seven new pills to take,
Six people judging,
Five sleepless nights,
Four friends a-calling,
Three box of Kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my Postpartum sent to me
Twelve more boxes of Kleenex,
Eleven new PPD articles,
Ten irrational thoughts,
Nine pounds lost and found,
Eight moods a-minute,
Seven new pills to take,
Six people judging,
Five sleepless nights,
Four friends a-calling,
Three box of Kleenex,
Two hours of anxiety,
A need to weep and flee!

 

_______________________________

Alycia is the author at “Coloring Me Happy” and is formerly known as Crayon Wrangler. Widow, Suicide Survivor, Mother of 3, blending a family of 8 children and trying to get enough coffee. She’s tired. Also a photographer, she has learned to narrow the focus of the big picture into the little moments that matter the most in both pictures and her life.

Postpartum Voice of the Week: @Hopin2bHappy’s Email to My Husband

Within the #PPDChat community, members not only share how they’re feeling or what they’re going through, sometimes they tweet specific requests for support with a current situation. Such was the case just the other day with one particular member. @Hopin2bHappy tweeted about an email she sent to her husband in regards to her current struggle with her Postpartum Mood Disorder. Then she posted the letter at the #PPDChat Closed FB group. Her letter is phenomenal and one every husband should read. One every Mom with PPD should read. It’s honest, raw, and powerful. She graciously offered to allow me to share her words here. I’m honoured to do so and hope you will share it with everyone you know. The entire post from the FB group is included (with her permission of course)  – her introduction, the letter, and her husband’s reaction to the email. With no further ado, I give you quite possibly one of the most powerful pieces I’ve ever posted here for husbands and wives:

 

 

Hi Ladies.
I’ve been having a really tough week. I’m in the middle of a med change, kids have been sick and I’ve been exhausted. Last night my husband and I had a huge fight at 2am, I felt so beat down, alone and really ready to just stop trying.
This morning I wrote my husband an e-mail. Here it is.

Dear Hubs,

I love you and you need to remember that I don’t want to be this way. You have been working so hard to care for our family, and I want you to know how much I appreciate all you do for the boys and all you do to keep us afloat. That’s why it has been so hard for me to talk to you about what I’m about to write.

Sometimes, I think you forget that when I’m having a bad day, I am not capable of being rational. Telling me to get over it and just deal, or stop having thin skin, or that I  should be happy [we have a comforter, etc.] doesn’t help. It actually makes me feel even worse for not being able to control these feelings. That’s when I get filled with rage and lose it on you.

Sometimes, I think that what you want is for me to lose it, just so you can blame everything on me being crazy.

I know it’s hard for you when I’m saying crazy things.  I know you want to defend yourself and tell me what’s on your mind. What I don’t think you understand is that THIS IS NOT ME. When I get overwhelmed and lash out at everything?  Most of the time I dont even believe what I’m saying, but I just can’t stop. The more you tell me I’m crazy, a liar, and insane, it just gets worse. I feel helpless and I start to believe those things you accuse me of, which only makes matters worse.

Instead of you trying to analyze my words and picking out inconsistencies, accusing me of lying, or fighting back by saying I’m being irrational, what I REALLY want, no, NEED, is for you to hug me. I need you to tell me you are sorry I feel this way and that it will get better. That you love me. That I’m a good mom.  I know these things are hard for you to do sometimes, especially in the heat of the moment. But I’ve never needed your love and support more than I do right now.

I am trying so hard, but sometimes I feel like you don’t give me any credit for trying. I’m talking to doctors, taking medications and seeing a therapist. I wish I could snap my fingers or drink a magic potion and make it all go away, but unfortunately, it is not that easy. I will get through this, but I can NOT do this alone. If we get through this together, as a team, things will get better faster and be easier for us both. The best gift we can give our boys is a happy and healthy relationship. I’m fighting this as hard as I can, not just for them, but for you, too. You deserve the best of me, which is what I want so badly to give, but I need your, love, support and encouragement to make it happen.

I love you.

He came upstairs and hugged me. He commited to try and not take things so personally, and not react so strongly. He acknowledged that I am trying, and we are going to fight this as a team.

I am so relieved. And I Want to thank a very special friend for helping me edit my letter so it actually made sense.

12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Deck the Halls

Deck the halls with bouts of anxiety,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Tis the season to be panicked,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now our stoic expressions,

Fa la la, la la la, la la la.

Troll old haunts of truly happy,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

See the echoes of our sanity,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Gulp our meds and join society.

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Follow me off to therapy,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

While I tell of tribulations,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Not far away from recovery am I,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Hail the new, ye doubts and doubters,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Sing we recovered, all together,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Heedless of the naysayers,

Fa la la la la, la la la la.

12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer

Today’s 12 Days of Christmas Challenge take on “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” was penned by Alycia Estok from Color Me Happy. She’s my partner in creativity and sarcasm these days. So of course I turned to her when my brain turned to mush. Alycia came through in a big way. I know you’ll love this as much as I do!

My daughter got run over by Postpartum,
After the birth of her first babe.
You may say there’s no such thing as PPD,
But as for those who suffer, we believe.

She’d been doing lots of crying,
And I begged her to let it go.
But she’d left her medication
So she sat crying by the big window.

When we saw her Christmas morning,
With all the tears and all the snot.
There were tissues on the counter
And an empty gallon of ice cream she had bought.

My daughter got run over by Postpartum,
After the birth of her first babe.
You may say there’s no such thing as PPD
But as for those who suffer we believe.

Now we are all so proud of her hubby,
He’s been takin’ this so well.
Ignoring all the warning signs,
Watching TV while her wife goes through hell.

It’s just not Christmas, without my daughter,
All the family’s gathered around.
And we can’t help but wonder
What on earth we could do to try to help?

My daughter got run over by Postpartum,
After the birth of her first babe.
You may say there’s no such thing as PPD
But as for those who suffer we believe.

Now the stockings are all hung,
And the presents lay around.
And we are hugging on my daughter
Loving her through a small break down.
I’ve warned all my friends and blog pals,
“Better watch out for PPD,
They should never say it’s a myth,
To a family struggling underneath the Christmas Glee”

My daughter got run over by Postpartum,
After the birth of her first babe.
You may say there’s no such thing as PPD.
But for those of us who suffer, we believe.

_______________________________

Alycia is the author at “Coloring Me Happy” and is formerly known as Crayon Wrangler. Widow, Suicide Survivor, Mother of 3, blending a family of 8 children and trying to get enough coffee. She’s tired. Also a photographer, she has learned to narrow the focus of the big picture into the little moments that matter the most in both pictures and her life.

12 Days of Christmas Challenge: Postpartum the Sneaky Mood Disorder

Just last week, I put a call out on Twitter for Christmas Song Suggestions for a blog project. Today starts this project. Last year, I did a 12 days of Christmas during which I took 12 Postpartum Myths and explained them. This year, I decided to really challenge myself. It’s not meant to be as informative as last years but is instead a bit more free-spirited. I’ll be rewriting 12 Christmas songs for the next 12 days to fit the theme of Postpartum Mood Disorders and the experience they impart. Some may be more fact based than others but keep in mind the format to which I’ve constrained myself. I have to keep with the flow of the song in regards to syllables, etc. And no, I will not be offering audio versions of these songs. Well maybe. I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet. What do you think? (I warn you, I’m not the best singer in the world. Please don’t make me sing.)

Today’s post is based on “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” Enjoy and have a happy holiday season!

Postpartum, the sneaky mood disorder,

has a very stealthy mode.

And if you ever have it,

you would even say it blows.

All of the other mommies

used to laugh and bond with baby.

They never let us see them

fail at their baby games.

Then one tough morning

Mama came to say:

“Postpartum with your mood so foul,

won’t you let me laugh tonight?”

Then all the mamas rallied

as they shouted out with zeal,

Mama, you’re not alone,

we’re heading off to heal!

My guest posts @ Sluiter Nation & Our Giggles & Grimaces

This past week has been a very busy one for me – not only did I host #PPDChat and do all I do on Twitter, I also blogged here, worked a little more on my #PPDMD chat idea (I am SO EXCITED!), and wrote a couple of guest posts.

Katie Sluiter over at Sluiter Nation invited me to be an Official Sluiter Nation Recruit. Of course I accepted because Katie just rocks. You can read my post, “no private rooms” at her place here. She introduces me with the most awesome introduction ever. Moved me to tears, I tell you. (Thanks, Katie. And yes, I got your back if you need me again – without hesitation!)

Then Charity over at Our Giggles & Grimaces asked for guest posters too. Given that I’m her Greased Cat Yoga Instructor, I felt compelled to accept. I wrote about Self-care and a Mama’s Alarm clock. You should read it. Not just because I wrote it and therefore it’s awesome, but because well, yeah. It’s awesome. Plus, self-care. And hilariousness. Perfect for a Saturday morning, right?

So grab your coffee or sippy cup filled with OJ or apple juice and cruise on over to the guest posts I wrote this week!